L. C. PICKTHALL
THE DRIFT OF
professor TKH, S,
THE DRIFT OF PINIONS
THE DRIFT OF PINIONS BY
MARJORIE L.C. PICKTHALL
THE UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE
LONDON : JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD
NEW YORK : JOHN LANE COMPANY
COPYRIGHT, CANADA, 1913
BY MARJORIE L. C. PICKTHAU,
Many of the poems contained in this book have
been published in various periodicals. My thanks
are due to the editors of The University, Scribner's,
Harpers, The Century, The American, and the
Metropolitan Magazines, The Atlantic Monthly,
and The Youth's Companion, for permission to offer
this verse in its present form.
M. L. C. P.
Victoria College, Toronto,
IN MEMORY OF
THE LITTLE FAUNS TO PROSERPINE 5
TO ALCITHOE .... .10
THE SEA WITCH 11
THE IMMORTAL 12
THE GREEN MONTH . . . . 18
SONG OF LATE SEPTEMBER . . 19
FROST SONG 21
DREAM RIVER 22
SWALLOWS . . . . . . 23
THE POOL 34
O SILVER ROSE 26
THE BRIDEGROOM OF CANA . . 27
A MOTHER IN EGYPT ... . 30
ST. YVES' POOR . . . . 34
THE LITTLE SISTER OF THE
PIETER MARINUS . . . . 40
THE LAMP OF POOR SOULS . . 42
IN THE GARDENS OF SHUSHAN . 44
PERE LALEMANT 46
IN A MONASTERY GARDEN . . 51
A CHILD'S SONG . . . . . 53
A CHILD'S SONG OF CHRISTMAS . 54
YOUTH'S END . . ....;. . 55
JASPER'S SONG 56
THE HILLMAN'S LASS .... 58
THE SHEPHERD BOY .... 60
MY FATHER HE WAS A FISHERMAN 63
JENNIFER'S LAD 64
THREE ISLAND SONGS .... 65
THE LOVERS OF MARCHAID . . 69
THE HOUSE'S SETTING ... 72
DEUS MISEREATUR .... 73
FAME .... ... 74
KWANNON . . . * . , . 76
MONS ANGELORUM .... 79
A SAXON EPITAPH . 93
THE DRIFT OF PINIONS
MARJORIE L. C. PICKTHALL
HEN within the rippling tide
Shakes the silver-pointed moon,
When the rainbow flies of noon
All have died,
When the bats go wheeling far,
And the mournful owl has cried
Twice or thrice a-down the glen
Gray with gathering shade, and when
Gates o' dream are held ajar,
From the alders in the dell,
From the bracken fronds astir,
Elfin voices call to her,
"Armorel ! "
She shall glide the garden down,
Treading softly, treading slow,
And with silent feet shall go
Past the Mary-lilies white,
Past the pansies, gold and brown,
Grown for her delight.
One white moth her guide shall be,
She shall follow where he flies,
Patiently, with dream-lit eyes;
Past the thyme and savoury,
Past the mystic asphodel,
For the voices in her ear
Call her softly, call her clear,
Into valleys strange and dim,
All unseen and all unknown,
Fleetly shall she follow him,
She shall hear within the brake
Elfin crickets pipe and sing,
While the elfin spiders make
Sendal for her furnishing,
Red as pimpernel.
She shall see the dreams go by,
Silver-pinioned, through the sky ;
Where she wanders none may tell,
But the voices come and go,
Calling sweetly, calling low,
THE LITTLE FAUNS TO
BROWNER than the hazel-husk, swifter
than the wind,
Though you turn from heath and hill, we
are hard behind,
Singing, "Ere the sorrows rise, ere the gates
Bind above your wistful eyes the memory
of a rose. ' '
Dark lacchus pipes the kine shivering from
Wraps him in a she-goat's fell above the
Now we husk the corn for bread, turn the
mill for hire,
Hoof by hoof and head by head about the
Ai, Adonis, where he gleams, slender and
One has built a roof of dreams where the
white doves nest.
Ere they bring the wine-dark bowl, ere the
Take, O take within your soul the shadow
of a star.
Now the vintage feast is done, now the
Gold along the raftered thatch beneath a
thread of snow.
Dian's bugle bids the dawn sweep the
Where we snared the silken fawn, where we
ran the deer.
Through the dark reeds wet with rain, past
the singing foam
Went the light-foot Mysian maids, calling
Syrinx felt the silver spell fold her at her
Hear, ere yet you say farewell, the wind
along the reed.
Golden as the earliest leaf loosened from the
Grave Alcestis drank of grief for her lord's
Ere you choose the bitter part, learn the
Bind above your breaking heart the echo of
Now the chestnut burrs are down ; aspen-
shaws are pale ;
Now across the plunging reef reels the last
Ere the wild, black horses cry, ere the night
Take, ere yet you say good-bye, the love of
all the earth.
OWEST of all the westward roads that
J woo ye to their winding,
O, south of all the southward ways that call
ye to the sea,
There's a little lonely garden that would
pay ye for the finding,
With a fairy-ring within it and an old thorn
O, there upon the brink of morn the
thrushes would be calling,
And the little lilting linnets, sure they'd
wake me from the dead ;
With the lime trees all in blossom and the
soft leaf-shadows falling,
O, there I'd have a place at last to lay my
O, would I had a swallow's wings, for then
I'd fly and find it ;
O, would I had a swallow's heart, for then
I'd love to roam !
With an orchard on the hillside and an old,
old man to mind it,
O, there I'd lift my lodge at last and make
O, there I'd see the tide come in along the
O, there I'd lie and watch the sails go
shining to the west.
And where the fir-wood follows on the wide
It's there I'd lay me down at last and take
IN your dim Greece of old, Alcithoe,
Death like a lover sought and crowned
Between the olive orchards and the sea.
When they had twined your myrtle -buds,
The stately cypress at your door, they said,
' 'Alcithoe is dead,
Before whose feet the flaming crocus sprung,
For whom the red rose opened ere the prime;
Those the gods love are taken before their
Ah! why did no one, watching you alone,
Snare your dead beauty in undying stone ?
The gold hair bound beneath its golden
The milk-white poppies closed within your
That the harsh world a little space might
The last, still, exquisite vision of your sleep.
THE SEA WITCH
ENDLESSLY fell her chestnut flowers,
Faint snow throughout the honeyed
The myrtle spread his boughs to drink
Deep draughts of salt from the sea's brink,
And like a moon-dial swung her tower's
Straight shadow o'er her warded park.
From her calm coasts the galleons fled,
The fisher steered him further west,
No port was hailed, no keel came home
Across that pale, enchanted foam,
But by her roof the thrushes fed
And wandering swallows found their rest.
The shadows touched her tenderly,
The red beam lingered on her dress;
The white gull and the osprey knew
Her tower across the leagues of blue.
The wild swan when he sought the sea
Was laggard through her loveliness.
BEAUTY is still immortal in our
When sways no more the spirit-haunted
When the wild grape shall build
No more her canopies,
When blows no more the moon-gray thistle
When the last bell has lulled the white
When the last eve has stilled
The wandering wing and touched the dying
When the last moon burns low, and, spark
The little worlds die out along the dark,
Beauty that rosed the moth-wing, touched
With clover-horns and delicate faint flowers,
Beaut}" that bade the showers
Beat on the violet's face,
Shall hold the eternal heavens within their
And hear new stars come singing from God's
OKEEP the world forever at the dawn,
Ere yet the opals, cobweb-strung,
Ere yet too bounteous gifts have marred the
Or fading stars have died.
O, keep the eastern gold no wider than
An angel's finger-span,
And hush the increasing thunder of the sea
To murmuring melodj^
In those fair coves where tempests ne'er
Hold back the line of shoreward-sweeping
And veil each deep sea-pool in pearlier mist,
Ere yet the silver ripples on the verge
Have turned to amethyst.
Fling back the chariot of encroaching day
And call the winds away
Ere yet they sigh, and let the hastening sun
Along his path in heaven no higher run,
But show through all the years his golden
With shadows lingering dim
Forever o'er the world awaiting him.
Hold every bird with still and drowsy wing,
That in the breathless hush no clamorous
Shall break the peace that hangs on every-
With shrill awakening note;
Keep fast the half-seen beauties of the rose
In undisturbed repose,
Check all the iris buds where the}' unfold
Impatient from their hold,
And close the cowslips' cups of honeyed
Keep all things hushed, so hushed we seem
The sounds of low-swung clouds that sweep
Let now no harsher music reach the ear,
No earthlier sounds than these,
When whispering shadows move within the
And airy tremors pass
Through all the earth with life awakening
And so forever stilled,
Too sweet in promise e'er to be fulfilled.
O keep the world forever at the dawn,
Yet, keeping so, let nothing lifeless seem,
But hushed, as if the miracle of morn
Were trembling in its dream.
Some shadowy moth may pass with downy
And fade before the sight,
While in the unlightened darkness of the
The chirping crickets call;
From forest pools where fragrant lilies are
A breath shall pass afar,
And o'er the crested pine shall hang one
WHEN the white iris folds the drows-
When the first cricket wakes
The fairy hosts of his enchanted brakes,
When the dark moth has sought the lilac
And the young stars, like jasmine of the
Are opening on the silence, Lord, there lies
Dew on Thy rose and dream upon mine eyes.
lyOvely the day, when life is robed in splen-
Walking the ways of God and strong with
But the pale eve is wonderful and tender,
And night is more divine.
Fold my faint olives from their shimmering
O shadow of sweet darkness fringed with
Give me to night again.
Give ine to day no more. I have bethought
Silence is more than laughter, sleep than
Sleep like a lover faithfully hath sought me
Down the enduring years.
Where stray the first white fallings of the
Where the Lent-lily droops her earlier gold
Sleep waits me as of old.
Grant me sweet sleep, for light is unavailing
When patient eyes grow weary of the day.
Young lambs creep close and tender wings
And I grow tired as they.
Light as the long wave leaves the lonely
Our boughs have lost the bloom that
Give me to day no more.
THE GREEN MONTH
WHAT of all the colours shall I bring
you for your fairing,
Fit to lay your fingers on, fine enough for
Yellow for the ripened rye, white for ladies'
Red for briar-roses, or the skies' own blue ?
Nay, for spring has touched the elm, spring
has found the willow,
Winds that call the swallow home sway the
boughs apart ;
Green shall all my curtains be, green shall
be my pillow,
Green I'll wear within my hair, and green
upon my heart.
SONG OF LATE SEPTEMBER
IN this irised net I keep
All the moth-winged winds of sleep,
In this basket woven of willow
I have silk-weed for your pillow.
In this pouch of plaited reeds
Stars I bear fqr silver beads.
Choose my pippins for your money,
Reddening pears as smooth as honey,
Golden grapes and apricots,
Herbs from well-grown garden plots ;
Basil, balm, and savoury,
All sweet-smelling things there be,
Fruits a many and flowers a few,
Fiery dahlias drooped in dew r ,
Wood-grown asters faint as smoke,
Flame of maple, frond of oak.
In this box of foreign woods
I have delicate woven goods ;
Orient laces light as mist,
Amber veils and amethyst,
Ivory pins like hardened milk,
Cloaks of silver-shining silk
Wrought with strange embroideries
Of peacock plumes and rose-berries.
Buy a king's crown lost of old,
Dark with sardius sunk in gold.
Buy my gloves of spiders spun,
Cool as water, warm as sun ;
Buy my shoon of yellow leathers
Lined with fur and owlet feathers
Buy a chain of emerald stones
Or scarlet seeds or cedar cones.
All sweet, delicate things there be
Honest folk may buy of me.
Ere the earliest thrush has flown
In my eyes the dawns are shown.
On my lips the summer lingers,
Rain has jewelled all my fingers ;
In my hand the crickets sing,
And the moon ' s my golden ring.
HERE where the bee slept and the orchis
Her honeying pipes of pearl, her velvet lip,
Only the swart leaves of the oak lie drifted
In sombre fellowship.
Here where the flame-weed set the lands
Lies the bleak upland, webbed and crowned
Build high the logs, O love, and in thine
Let me believe the summer lingers late.
We shall not miss her passive pageantries,
We are not desolate,
When on the sill, across the window bars,
Kind winter flings her flowers and her stars.
WIND-SILVERED willows hedge the
And all within is hushed and cool.
The water, in an endless dream,
Goes sliding down from pool to pool.
And every pool a sapphire is,
From shadowy deep to sunlit edge,
Ribboned around with irises
And cleft with emerald spears of sedge.
O, everj r morn the winds are stilled,
The sunlight falls in amber bars.
O, every night the pools are filled
With silver brede of shaken stars.
O, every morn the sparrow flings
His elfin trills athwart the hush,
And here unseen at eve there sings
One crvstal- throated hermit-thrush.
O LITTLE hearts, beat home, beat home.
Here is no place to rest.
Night darkens on the falling foam
And on the fading west.
O little wings, beat home, beat home.
Love ma}- no longer roam.
O, Love has touched the fields of wheat
And Love has crowned the corn,
And we must follow Love's white feet
Through all the ways of mom.
Through all the silver roads of air
We pass and have no care.
The silver roads of Love are wide,
O winds that turn, O stars that guide.
Sweet are the ways that Love has trod
Through the clear skies that reach to God.
But in the cliff-grass Love builds deep
A place where wandering wings may sleep.
COME with me, follow me, swift as a
Ere the wood-doves waken.
Lift the long leaves and look down, look
Where the light is shaken,
Amber and brown,
On the woven ivory roots of the reed,
On a floating flower and a weft of weed
And a feather of froth.
Here in the night all wonders are,
Lapped in the lift of the ripple's swing,
A silver shell and a shaken star,
And a white moth's wing.
Here the young moon when the mists un-
Swims like the bud of a golden rose.
I would live like an elf where the wild
I would chase the thrush
From the red rose-berries.
All the day long I would laugh and swing
With the black choke-cherries.
I would shake the bees from the milkweed
And cool, O cool,
Night after night I would leap in the pool,
And sleep with the fish in the roots of the
Clear, O clear my dreams should be]made
Of emerald light and amber shade,
Of silver shallows and golden glooms.
Sweet, O sweet my dreams should be
As the dark, sweet w^ater enfolding me
Safe as a blind shell under the sea.
O SILVER ROSE
THE dark hour turns so slowty and so
The last still hour soft-fallen from the stars.
To-morrow I ma}- kneel and touch ihy feet,
O Rose of all Shiraz.
Lay wide thine amorous lattice to the south,
O Silver Rose, when roses breathe thy name,
And thou at dawn shalt feel upon thy mouth
The kiss I dared not claim.
Discrowned, dishonoured, reft of pride and
From the red battle where they hailed me
Silver Rose, O sweet Pomegranate
1 turn me to their sword.
Life hath so held me to an empty part,
Life hath so snared me, bound and made
To-morrow I may rest upon thy heart,
For death shall prove more kind.
THE BRIDEGROOM OF CANA
1 ' There was a marriage in Cana of Galilee. . . .
And both Jesus was called, and His disciples, to the
VEIL thine eyes, O beloved, my spouse,
Turn them away,
Lest in their light my life withdrawn
Dies as a star, as a star in the day,
As a dream in the dawn.
Slenderly hang the olive leaves
Sighing apart ;
The rose and silver doves in the eaves
With a murmur of music bind our house.
Honey and wine in thy words are stored,
Thy lips are bright as the edge of a sword
That hath found my heart,
That hath found my heart.
Sweet, I have waked from a dream of thee,
And of Him.
He who came when the songs were done.
From the net of thy smiles my heart went
And the golden lure of thy love grew dim.
I turned to them asking, "Who is He,
Royal and sad, who comes to the feast
And sits Him down in the place of the least?' '
And the}^ said, "He is Jesus, the carpenter's
Hear how my harp on a single string
Murmurs of love.
Down in the fields the thrushes sing
And the lark is lost in the light above,
Lost in the infinite, glowing whole,
As I in thy soul,
As I in thy soul.
Love, I am fain for thy glowing grace
As the pool for the star, as the rain for the
Turn to me, trust to me, mirror me
As the star in the pool, as the cloud in the
Love, I looked awhile in His face
And was still.
The shaft of the dawn strikes clear and
Hush, my harp.
Hush, my harp, for the day is begun,
And the lifting, shimmering flight of the
Breaks in a curve on the brink of morn,
Over the sycamores, over the corn,
Cling to me, cleave to me, prison me
As the mote in the flame, as the shell in the
For the winds of the dawn say, " Follow,
Jesus Bar-Joseph, the carpenter's son."
A MOTHER IN EGYPT
"About midnight w ill I go out into the midst
of Egypt : and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt
shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth
upon the throne, even unto the firstborn of the maid-
servant that is behind the mill.' 1 ''
IS the noise of grief in the palace over the
For this silent one at my side ?
There came a hush in the night, and he rose
with his hands a-quiver
Like lotus petals adrift on the swing of the
O small soft hands, the day groweth old for
O small still feet, rise up, for the hour is
Rise up, my son, for I hear them mourning
In the temple down by the gate.
Hushed is the face that was wont to brighten
When I sang at the mill,
And silence unbroken shall greet the sor-
rowful dawns hereafter,
The house shall be still.
Voice after voice takes up the burden of
Do you heed, do you hear? in the high-
priest' s house by the wall ;
But mine is the grief, and their sorrow is
Will he wake at their call ?
Something I saw of the broad, dim wings
The passionless brow.
Something I saw of the sword the shadowy
hands were holding,
What matters it now ?
I held you close, dear face, as I knelt and
To the wind that cried last night like a soul
When the broad, bright stars dropped down
and the soft sky darkened,
And the Presence moved therein.
I have heard men speak in the market-place
of the city,
Low voiced, in a breath,
Of a god who is stronger than ours, and who
knows not changing nor pity,
Whose anger is death.
Nothing I know of the lords of the outland
But Amun is gentle and Hathor the Mother
And who would descend from the light of
the peaceful places
To w r ar on a child ?
Yet here he lies, with a scarlet pomegranate
Blown down on his cheek.
The slow sun sinks to the sand like a shield
of some burnished metal,
But he does not speak.
I have called, I have sung, but he neither
will hear nor waken ;
So lightly, so whitely he lies in the curve of
Like a feather let fall from the bird that the
arrow hath taken.
Who could see him, and harm ?
' ' The swallow flies home to her sleep in the
eaves of the altar,
And the crane to her nest,"
So do we sing o'er the mill, and why, ah,
why should I falter,
Since he goes to his rest ?
Does he play in their flowers as he played
among these with his mother ?
Do the gods smile downward and love him
' and give him their care ?
Guard him well, O ye gods, till I come ;
lest the wrath of that Other
Should reach to him there !
ST. YVES' POOR
JEFFIK was there, and Matthieu, and
Warped in old wars and babbling of the
And Jannedik, a white rose pinched and
With the world's frosts, and many more
learned, rheumed and palsied, aged, impo-
Of all but hunger and blind lifted hands.
I set the doors wide at the given hour,
Took the great baskets piled with bread,
Yet silvered of the sea, the curds of milk,
And called them, Brethren, brake, and blest,
For O, my L,ord, the house dove knows her
Above my window builded from the rain ;
In the brown mere the heron finds her
But these shall seek in vain.
And O, my Lord, the thrush may fold her
The curlew seek the long lift of the seas,
The wild swan sleep amid his journeying,
There is no rest for these.
Thy dead are sheltered ; housed and warmed
Under the golden fern, the falling foam;
But these, Thy living, wander desolate
And have not any home.
I called them, Brethren, brake, and blest,
Old Jeffik had her withered hand to show,
Young Jannedik had dreamed of death, and
Would tell me wonders wrought on fields
When Michael and his warriors rode the
And all the heavens were thrilled with
Ah, God, my poor, my poor. Till there
Wrapped in foul rags, who caught me by
And pleaded, " Bread, my father."
In his hand
I laid the last loaf of the daily dole,
Saw on the palm a red wound like a star,
And bade him, " L,et me bind it."
' ' These my wounds, ' '
He answered softly, "daily dost thou bind."
And I, ' ' My son, I have not seen thy face.
But thy bruised feet have trodden on my
I will get water for thee."
' ' These my hurts, ' '
Again he answered, ' 'daily dost thou wash. ' '
And I once more, "My son, I know thee
But the bleak wind blows bitter from the
And even the gorse is perished. Rest thou
And he again, " My rest is in thy heart.
I take from thee as I have given to thee.
Dost thou not know Me, Breton ? ' '
I, "My Lord!"
A scent of lilies on the cold sea-wind,
A thin, white blaze of wings, a face of flame
Over the gateway, and the vision passed,
And there were only Matthieu and brown
And the young girl, the foam-white Janne-
Wondering to see their father rapt from
And Jeffik weeping o'er her withered hand.
THE LITTLE SISTER OF
"If there arise among you a prophet or dreamer. . ."
I HAVE left a basket of dates
In the cool dark room that is under the
Some curds set out in two little crimson
And a flask of the amber wine,
And cakes most cunningly beaten
Of savoury herbs, and spice, and the delicate
Flour that is best,
And all to lighten his spirit and sweeten
This morning he cried, "Awake,
And see what the wonderful grace of the
Lord hath revealed ! ' '
And we ran for his sake,
But 'twas only the dawn outspread o'er our
And the house of the potter white in the
But his hands were upraised to the east and
he cried to us, ' ' So
Ye may ponder and read
The strength and the beauty of God out-
rolled in a fiery screed ! ' '
Then the little brown mother smiled,
As one does on the words of a well-loved
And, "Son," she replied, "have the oxen
been watered and fed ?
For work is to do, though the skies be never
And already the first sweet hours of the
day are spent."
And he sighed, and went.
Will he come from the byre
With his head all misty with dreams, and
his eyes on fire,
Shaking us all with the weight of the words
of his passion ?
I will give him raisins instead of dates,
And wreathe young leaves on the little red
I will put on my new head-tyre,
And braid my hair in a comelier fashion.
Will he note ? Will he mind ?
Will he touch my cheek as he used to, and
laugh and be kind ?
LORD, I have known all fruits of this
thy world ;
Like Solomon king, I have been fain of
War, women, and wine, but mine was
spirit of Nantes.
And now, O Lord, I'm old and fain for Thee.
But, Lord, my soul's so grimed and weather-
So warped and wrung with all iniquities,
Piracies, brawls, and cheated revenues,
There's not a saint but would look twice at
So, when my time comes, send no angels
With lutes, and harps, and foreign instru-
To pipe old Pieter's spirit up to heaven
Past his tall namesake sturdy at his post.
But let me lie awhile in these Thy seas.
Let the soft Gulf Stream and the long South
And the swift tides that rim the Labrador,
Beat on m) r soul and wash it clean again.
And when Thy waves have smoothed me of
White as the sea-mew or the wind-spun
Clean as the clear-cut images of stars
That swing between the swells, then, then,
Lean out, lean out from heaven and call
"Come up, thou soul of Pieter Marinus,"
And I'll go home.
THE LAMP OF POOR SOULS
In many English churches before the Reform-
ation there was kept a little lamp continually burn-
ing, called the Lamp of Poor Souls. People were
reminded thereby to pray for the souls of those dead
whose kinsfolk were too poor to pay for prayers and
ABOVE my head the shields are stained
The wind has taken his spoil, the moth his
Dust of dead men beneath my knees, and
Lord, in my heart.
Lay Thou the hand of faith upon my fears ;
The priest has prayed, the silver bell has
But not for him. O unforgotten tears,
He was so young !
Shine, little lamp, nor let thy light grow
Into what vast, dread dreams, what lonely
Into what griefs hath death delivered him,
Far from my hands ?
Cradled is he, with half his prayers forgot.
I cannot learn the level way he goes.
He whom the harvest hath remembered not
Sleeps with the rose.
Shine, little lamp, fed with sweet oil of
Shine, little lamp, as God's own eyes may
When He treads softly down His starry
And whispers, "Thou art Mine."
Shine, little lamp, for love hath fed thy
Sleep, little soul, by God's own hands set
Cling to His arms and sleep, and sleeping,
And dreaming, look for me.
IN THE GARDENS OF SHUSHAN
BE pitiful ! Her lips have touched this
Clear stream that sets the long green leaves
The very doves that dream beside the pool
Sang their soft notes to her.
For her these doors that claim the amorous
Bound in red bronze and stayed with cedar-
And here the bees sought honey from her
So like a flower she stood.
For her the globed pomegranates grew, and
Sweet savoury fruits rose perfect from their
Here has her soul known silence and the
Of each enchanted hour.
Under her feet all beauty was laid low,
In her deep eyes all beauty was made clear.
When the king called her through the even-
" O Vashti, I am here !"
Still the sweet wells return to me her face,
Still her lost name on every wind is blown.
The shadows and the silence of this place
Are hers alone.
I LI FT the Lord on high,
Under the murmuring hemlock boughs,
The small birds of the forest lingering by
And making melody.
These are mine acolytes and these my choir,
And this mine altar in the cool green shade,
Where the wild soft-eyed does draw nigh
Wondering, as in the byre
Of Bethlehem the oxen heard Thy cry
And saw Thee, unafraid.
My boatmen sit apart,
Wolf-ej r ed, wolf-sinewed, stiller than the
Help me, O Lord, for very slow of heart
And hard of faith are these.
Cruel are they, } r et Thy children. Foul are
Yet wert Thou born to save them utterly.
Then make me as I pray,
Just to their hates, kind to their sorrows,
After their speech, and strong before their
Do the French lilies reign
Over Mont Royal and Stadacona still ?
Up the St. Lawrence comes the spring again,
Crowning each southward hill
And blossoming pool with beauty, while I
Far from the perilous folds that are my
There where we built St. Ignace for our
Shaped the rough roof tree, turned the first
St. Ignace and St. Louis, little beads
On the rosary of God.
Pines shall Thy pillars be,
Fairer than those Sidonian cedars brought
By Hiram out of Tyre, and each birch-tree
Shines like a holy thought.
But come no worshippers ; shall I confess,
St. Francis-like, the birds of the wilderness?
O, with Thy love my lonely head uphold.
A wandering shepherd I, who hath no sheep;
A wandering soul, who hath no scrip, nor
Nor anywhere to sleep.
My hour of rest is doue ;
On the smooth ripple lifts the long canoe ;
The hemlocks murmur sadly as the sun
Slants his dim arrows through.
Whither I go I know not, nor the way,
Dark with strange passions, vexed with
Holding I know not what of life or death ;
Only be Thou beside me day by da}-,
Thy rod my guide and comfort, underneath
Thy everlasting arms.
FROM the clouded belfry calling,
Hear my soft ascending swells ;
Hear my notes like swallows falling ;
I am Bega, least of bells.
When great Turkeful rolls and rings
All the storm- touched turret swings,
Echoing battle, loud and long.
When great Tatwin wakening roars
To the far-off shining shores,
All the seamen know his song.
I am Bega, least of bells :
In my throat my message swells.
I with all the winds a-thrill,
Murmuring softly, murmuring still,
" God around me, God above me,
God to guard me, God to love me."
I am Bega, least of bells,
Weaving wonder, wind-born spells.
High above the morning mist,
Wreathed in rose and amethyst,
Still the dreams of music float
Silver from my silver throat,
Whispering beauty, whispering peace.
When great Tatwin 's golden voice
Bids the listening land rejoice,
When great Turkeful rings and rolls
Thunder down to trembling souls,
Then my notes like curlews flying,
Lifting, falling, sinking, sighing,
Softly answer, softly cease.
I with all the airs at play
Murmuring sweetly, murmuring say,
" God around me, God above me,
God to guard me, God to love me. ' '
IN A MONASTERY GARDEN
OVER the long salt ridges
And the gold sea-poppies between,
They builded them wild-briar hedges,
A church and a cloistered green.
And when they were done with their praises,
And the tides on the Fore beat slow,
Under the white cliff-daisies
They laid them down in a row.
Porphyry, Paul, and Peter,
Jasper, and Joachim,
Was the psaltery music sweeter
Than the throat of the thrush to him ?
Tired of their drones and their dirges,
Where the young cliff -rabbits play,
Wet with the salt of the surges,
They laid them down for a day.
One may not call to the other
There on the rim of the deep,
Only the youngest brother
Lies and smiles in his sleep.
When the wild swan's shadow passes,
When the ripe fruit falls to the sod,
When the faint moth flies in the grasses
He dreams in the hands of God.
Here for his hopes there follow
The violets one by one.
The dove is here and the swallow
And the young leaf seeking the sun.
And here when the last sail darkens
And the last lone path is trod,
Under the rose he harkens
And smiles in the eyes of God.
A CHILD'S SONG
WHEN the Child played in Galilee,
He had no wine-clear maple leave.s,
No west winds singing of the sea
Over the frosted sheaves ;
But with pale myrrh His head was bound
When the Child lived in Nazareth,
He watched the golden anise seed,
With daisies white in the wind's breath,
And hyssop flowering for His need,
While the late crocus from the sod
Flamed for her God.
When the Child dwelt in Palestine,
Over the brooks the willow grew,
Olive and aspen, oak and pine,
Sweet sycamore and yew,
But one dark Tree of all the seven
Stood high as heaven.
A CHILD'S SONG OF CHRISTMAS
Y counterpane is soft as silk,
My blankets white as creamy milk.
The hay was soft to Him, I know,
Our little Lord of long ago.
Above the roof the pigeons fly
In silver wheels across the sky.
The stable-doves they cooed to them,
Mary and Christ in Bethlehem.
Bright shines the sun across the drifts,
And bright upon my Christmas gifts.
They brought Him incense, myrrh,
Our little Lord who lived of old.
O, soft and clear our mother sings
Of Christmas joys and Christmas things.
God's holy angels sang to them,
Mary and Christ in Bethlehem.
Our hearts they hold all Christmas dear,
And earth seems sweet and heaven seems
O, heaven was in His sight, I know,
That little Child of long ago.
I HAVE held my life too high,
Spring and harvest, love and laughter,
smile and sigh.
I should have held it lightly, like a young
leaf rent in haste
From the willow in the waste.
A moment in my fingers ; then it fluttered,
then it fled,
A little flame of red,
To the God-beholding desert where the
soundless years go by,
I have held my life too high.
I have held my death too dear,
Shame or honour, peace or peril, pride or
I should have held it softly, as the little
cloud that flies
When the heron takes the skies.
I should have held it kindly as a passing
whisper, " Friend,
Here's the end,
Here the silver cord is loosened and the
bowl is broken here,"
But I held my death too dear.
WHO goes down through the slim green
Soon, so soon ?
Dawn is hard on the heels of the moon,
But never a lily the day-star knows
Is white, so white as the one who goes
Armed and shod, when the hyacinths darken.
Then hark, O harken !
And rouse the moths from the deep rose-
Call the wild hares down from the fallows,
Gather the silk of the young sea-poppies,
The bloom of the thistle , the bells of the foam ;
Bind them all with a brown owl's feather,
Snare the winds in a golden tether,
Chase the clouds from the gipsy's weather,
and follow, O follow the white spring
Who goes past with the wind that chilled us,
Late, so late ?
Fortune leans on the farmer's gate,
Watching the round sun low in the south,
With a plume in his cap and a rose at his
But O, for the folk who were free and merry
There's never so much as a red rose- berry.
But old earth's warm as the wine that filled
And the fox and the little gray mouse shall
Walls of the sweet green gloom of the cedar,
A roof of bracken, a curtain of whin;
One more rouse ere the bowl reposes
I,ow in the dust of our lost red roses,
One more song ere the cold night closes,
and welcome, O welcome the dark
death in !
THE HILIvMAN'S LASS
OVER the field where the grass is cool,
( Follow the road who must ! )
With a song for the beech and the brown
And the noiseless tread in the dust,
With a laugh for the lazy hours that go,
And the folk who pass us by.
( The trees they grow so broad, so low,
They shut me from the sky.)
Here be strawberries wild and sweet,
( Follow the road who may ! )
And here's a rest for a bairn's feet
And a kiss at the close o' day.
And here's a cloud from the shining sea
I/ike a white moth in the night.
(On the edge o' the barley field, may be
The stars would show more bright.)
Cut me a flute where the reeds are brown.
( Follow the road who will ! )
O, I'll dress you fair in a green gown
And a cloak that is finer still.
Your sleeves shall be o' the fairies' lawn,
Your shoon as red as the rose.
( Do you think that the wind which wakes
Will bring us a breath o' the snows ?)
O, the world's wide, and the world is long.
( Follow the road who may ! )
And here's a lilt of the wild song
The Romany pipers play.
And "Mine," it sings, "is the moon's
And the cloak o' the cloud is mine. ' '
( Do you think that the lowland clover field
Is sweet as the upland pine ? )
THE SHEPHERD BOY
WHEN the red moon hangs over the
And the cypress shadow is rimmed with
little sheep, I have laid me low,
My face against the old earth's face,
Where one by one the white moths go,
And the brown bee has his sleeping place.
And then I have whispered, Mother, hear,
For the owls are awake and the night is
And whether I lay me near or far
No lip shall kiss me,
No eye shall miss me,
Saving the eye of a cold white star.
And the old brown woman answers mild,
Rest you sate on my heart, O child.
Many a shepherd, many a king,
1 fold them safe from their sorrowing.
Gwenever's heart is bound with dust,
Tristram dreams of the dappled doe,
But the bugle moulders, the blade is rust ;
Stilled are the trumpets of Jericho,
And the tired men sleep by the walls of
Little and lonelj r ,
Knowing me only,
Shall I not comfort you, shepherd-boy ?
When the wind wakes in the apple-tree,
And the shy hare feeds on the wild fern
I say my prayers to the Trinity,
The prayers that are three and the charms
that are seven
To the angels guarding the towers of
And I lay my head on her raiment's hem,
Where the young grass darkens the straw-
Where the iris buds and the bellworts are.
All night I hear her breath go by
Under the arch of the empty sky.
All night her heart beats under my head,
And I lie as still as the ancient dead,
Warm as the young lambs there with the
I and no other,
Close to my Mother,
Fold my hands in her hands, and sleep.
WHEN I was a little lad
With folly on my lips,
Fain was I for journeying
All the seas in ships.
But now across the southern swell,
Every dawn I hear
The little streams of Duna
When I was a young man,
Before my beard was gray,
All to ships and sailormen
I gave my heart away.
But I'm weary of the sea-wind,
I'm weary of the foam,
And the little stars of Duna
Call me home.
MY FATHER HE WAS A
MY father he was a fisherman,
That wrought at the break o' day,
And hither and thither the long tides ran
I' the long blue bay.
" The tides go up and the tides go down,
But what do you know of the sea ? ' '
Her voice, i' the long gray streets o' the
Is singing to me.
" What do you know of the sails at dawn,
What of the shell- white foam ? "
Cheerly and sweet, from a world withdrawn,
They are calling me home.
' ' What is the grief you fain would tell
When your eyes are turned on me ? ' '
O, well it was taught and I learned it well,
The grief o' the sea.
' ' Where do you travel and where do you
Where shall you take your rest ? ' '
At the inn that shelters my father, deep
I' the seas o' the west.
SWEET Jennifer came calling me
Along the shining beach.
"There's green upon the hawthorn tree,
There's bloom upon the peach.
O, April's found the upland larch,
The hazel in the hollow,"
But louder was the snare-drum with it's
" March, march, march !"
And clearer called the bugle, ' ' Will you
Young Jennifer came seeking me
With love upon her lips.
' ' O, all kind angels keep the sea
And fortune guard the ships.
The Autumn winds have rent the larch,
The south has won the swallow,"
But clearer beat the snare-drum with it's
" March, march, march ! "
And sweeter sang the bugle, ' ' Will you
follow ?' '
THREE ISLAND SONGS
AFTER the wind in the wood,
Peace, and the night.
After the bond and the brood,
After the height and the hush
Where the wild hawk swings,
Heart of the earth-loving thrush
Shaken with wings.
After the bloom and the leaf
Rain on the nest.
After the splendour and grief,
After the hills and the far
Glories and gleams,
Cloud, and the dawn of a star,
OTHE gray rocks of the islands and
f the hemlock green above them,
The foam beneath the wild rose bloom, the
star above the shoal.
When I am old and weary I'll wake my
heart to love them,
For the blue ways of the islands are wound
about my soul.
Here in the early even when the young gray
dew is falling,
And the king-heron seeks his mate beyond
the loneliest wild,
Still your heart in the twilight, and you'll
hear the river calling
Through all her outmost islands to seek her
I SAT among the green leaves, and heard
the nuts falling,
The broad red butterflies were gold against
But in between the silence and the sweet
The nuts fell one by one.
Why should they fall and the year but half
Why should sorrow seek me and I so young
and kind ?
The leaf is on the bough and the dew is on
But the green nuts are falling in the wind.
O, I gave my lips away and all my soul
Why should trouble follow and the quick
tears start ?
The little birds may love and fly with only
God to mind them,
But the green nuts are falling on my heart.
DARK is the iris meadow,
Dark is the ivory tower,
And lightly the young moth's shadow
Sleeps on the passion-flower.
Gone are our day's red roses.
So lovely and lost and few,
But the first star uncloses
A silver bud in the blue.
Night, and a flame in the embers
Where the seal of the years was set,
When the almond-bough remembers
How shall my heart forget ?
THE LOVERS OF MARCHAID
DOMINIC came riding down, sworded,
straight and splendid,
Drave his hilt against her door, flung a
Said : "I'll teach your lips a song sweet as
his that's ended,
Ere the white rose call the bee, the almond
But he only saw her head bent within the
Over heaps of bridal thread bright as apple-
Silver silk like rain that spread across the
Dreaming Fanch, the cobbler's son, took his
tools and laces,
Wrought her shoes of scarlet dye, shoes as
pale as snow ;
' ' They shall lead her wildrose feet all the
Danced along the road of love, the road such
feet should go "
But he only saw her eyes turning from his
Out towards the silver skies where the white
Where the wild gerfalcon flies, where the
last sails lift.
Bran has built his homestead high where the
hills may shield her,
Where the young bird waits the spring,
where the dawns are fair,
Said : "I'll name my trees for her, since I
may not yield her
Stars of morning for her feet, of evening
for her hair. ' '
But he did not see them ride, seven dim sail
All along the harbour-side, white from shore
Nor heard the voices of the tide crying at
Jean- Marie has touched his pipe down
beside the river
When the young fox bends the fern, when
the folds are still,
Said : ' ' I send her all the gifts that my love
may give her,
Golden notes like golden birds to seek her
at my will."
But he only found the waves, heard the sea-
In and out the ocean caves, underneath the
All above the wind-washed graves where
dead seamen lie.
THE HOUSE'S SETTING
II ERE is no hedge of yewe to hold in
* * grief e,
No cypresse nor long willow for despaire.
But the young birch displayes his cheerf ulle
In tracerie most faire.
Where the sunne falls at morn stand poplars
Where freely I of all sweete joyes may
An elm that lifts his prayerfulle arms to
And three tall pines for sorrowe.
PLEASANT the ways whereon our feet
Sweet the young hills, the valleys of content,
But now the hours of dew and dream have
Lord, we are spent.
We did not heed Thy warning in the skies,
We have not heard Thy voice nor known
Thy fold ;
But now the world is darkening to our eyes.
Lord, we grow old.
Now the sweet stream turns bitter with our
Now dies the star we followed in the west,
Now are we sad and ill at ease with years.
Lord, we would rest.
Lo, our proud lamps are emptied of their
Weary our hands to toil, our feet to roam ;
Our day is past and swiftly falls Thy night.
Lord, lead us home.
HAVE I played fellowship with night,
The allied armies break our gates at dawn
And let our general in ? By Bacchus, no !
I have not left my stall, sir, I'm too poor
For lazy prentices to hand my wares,
Such delicate chains, like amber linked with
Such silvered pins, like hate to let love
What know I ? But my Guidarello went
To the fountain of the coppersmiths, when
The double cypress showed upon the east.
He's home, poor fool, hoarse as a moulting
From loud throat-loyalty.
' ' The banners burn
Still in my soul," he cries, "as then in air.
The gray air, the gray houses, and the
The flowers, my father ! Thyme and twisted
From the blue hills I dream of, and thin
Of faery folds : pomegranates spun in^flame,
Flame of red rose and golden, flame of sound
Blown from hot-throated trumpets, and the
Of her proud eyes !
She rode beside the duke
In velvet coloured as a pansy is
And threaded round with gold. Her mantle
On the warm wind behind her, golden too,
Gold as the spires of lilies, and her hair
And her dark eyes were danced across with
Gold, gold, poor fool, and she was
bought for gold,
A golden grief to ride at a duke's rein.
Eh well ! The great grow love-in-idleness
About their courts. Did Guidarello see
Our general too ? "A little, tired old man,
Clad in worn sables with a silver star,"
He told me, ' ' fain to find his house and
sleep. ' '
Kwannon, the Japanese goddess of mercy, is
represented with many hands, typifying generosity
and kindness. In one of these hands she is supposed
to hold an ax, wherewith she severs the threads of
I AM the ancient one, the many-handed,
The merciful am I.
Here where the black pine bends above the
They bring their gifts to me
Spoil of the foreshore where the corals lie,
Fishes of ivory, and amber stranded,
And carven beads
Green as the fretted fringes of the weeds.
Age after age, I watch the long sails pass.
Age after age, I see them come once more
Home, as the gray-winged pigeon to the
The white crane to the shore.
Goddess am I of heaven and this small town
Above the beaches brown.
And here the children bring me cakes, and
And all the strange sea-treasures that they
For "She," they say, "the Merciful, is
And she," they say, "is kind."
Camphor and wave-worn sandalwood for
They bring to me alone,
Shells that are veined like irises, and those
Curved like the clear bright petals of a rose.
Wherefore an hundredfold again returning
I render them their own
Full -freighted nets that flash among the
I/aughter and love, and gentle eyes at home,
Cool of the night, and the soft air that swells
My silver temple bells.
Winds of the spring, the little flowers that
Where the young barley slopes to meet the
Gold of the charlock, guerdon of the rain,
I give to them again.
Yet though the fishing boats return full-
Out of the broad blue east,
Under the brown roofs pain is their hand-
And mourning is their feast.
Yea, though my many hands are raised to
I am not strong to give them happiness.
Sorrow comes swiftly as the swallow flying,
O, little lives, that are so quickly done !
Peace is my raiment, mercy is my breath,
I am the gentle one.
When they are tired of sorrow and of sighing
I give them death.
MOSES, JOSHUA, THE THREE ANGELS
OF THE UNIVERSE
Evening : a slope of Pisgah
Moses Our span of life is lessening with
Our little sun rolls swiftlier to its end
Among the eternal stars. It is a feather
Blown from a careless lip into the dark,
A fallen feather, the lily of a day,
Brimming with blood and tears instead
And dying with its sleep. Having
Having known day, I pass into the
Having long spoken with God, I hold
my peace ;
Having long held the sword, I lay it
And the new watch relieves me. Is all
Joshua O father of my soul, I cannot
The burden of the Lord is heavy on me,
And I am broken beneath it.
Moses Since I knew,
All my desires and cares have gone from
Rather I think on old forgotten things
A song within the temple-court, to her,
Isis, the L,ady of Love. How white she
Above the crowded gate ! I was a boy :
I ran and laid a lotus on her knees,
Dreaming she smiled in answer. Ah,
Far on the shining level of the sands,
Thebes and old Tan is builded of a cloud !
The reeds beside the river, those sweet
Full of warm buds that ripen and un-
At eve ; the barges passing on the Nile
Like golden water-fowl with ivory
The gardens and the great pomegranate
And she, my gentle mother in Mizraim,
Calling me, " Mesu, Mesu."
Joshua I cannot think.
My sorrow stays me and my grief pre-
Yet there are heathen foes and wars to
I take thy sword. I cannot take thy
Master of Law, unshaken friend of God,
But I can fight for Israel.
Moses Fight, and stand
Firmly for God. Jehovah is salvation.
And now, beloved son in all but blood,
Go, get you down again.
Joshua A little longer,
Leave me a little longer with you, lord !
Moses No longer, for the gates of life are
Out of the dark man cometh to his life,
Into the dark he goeth.
Down, look down,
Down to the clustered tents, each with
Of foolish children, vexed with many
Agonies, hopes, beliefs inherited,
Dark hates, fond dreams, divine humil-
Shall they go leaderless from stream to
Following the far-flung visions of des-
These that have been my sheep ?
Joshua I cannot, father.
I am a man of war and not of wisdom.
They will not know my voice nor follow
Moses Man, is it thy faint voice shall be
To soothe the fearful and uphold the
To lead the unshaken tribes to victory
Against the men of Amalek and Ai,
Lords of the plain and coast ? Is it thy
Nay, but Jehovah's in thee. As the
Filling the empty valley of the hills,
As the white flood along the water-
That once were barren, so His strength
Into the pits and runnels of thy soul.
Fight, for the L,ord is with thee. Stand
Joshua L,o, I would rather stay and die
Than pass with shining banners and
Of silver shawms and trumpets, in thy
Over the river Jordan.
Moses Nay, I pass
Over a deeper river, with no songs, ,
No mighty trumpetings, no pride of
Toil have I borne but triumph is not
Once, once mine eyes shall see the
Her forts and towers, cities and pleasant
Her palms and cedars, vines and olive
And then be darkened. Here's my
Here by these mighty chasms, these
My last resort, my lone abiding place.
See, the night comes. How is it with
thee, son ?
Joshua A cloud has drawn between us and
A darkness moves between us and the
Full of vague voices, mighty whisper-
Wings, and the sound of them.
O, never man
Has breathed such chilling air as this
Out of the dark. O, never man has
Such sounds as these which beat upon
Known, yet unknown ; familiar, yet
most dread !
Lord, must I go ?
Moses This is the wind of death,
And this the cold that lies without the
And these the sounds that thrill the
Beyond the lonelier stars. Go down,
To darkuened Israel mourning in his
I can no longer see thee. Stand thou
(Joshua goes ; the cloud surrounds Moses. )
O ye celestial presences, great shapes
With terrible fair faces, towering
Wings with the wine-deep glow of
Sheath over sheath like folded water-
Lit with an inward flame ; wings pale
Faint plumes showered with silver ;
Uplifted in a radiant arc of dawn,
Unchain the prisoned pinions of this
Say to the blind bird, Fly. Bid life
A bubble before the advancing wave
From my youth upward I have spoken
Nor knew the word so sweet. There's
music in it,
Music to break the heart. O, heavenly
Looking so long in your immortal eyes
I am grown old. Death calls me as a
A rest desired, a rich forgetfulness,
After too much of life.
Angel of Darkness Life is no more.
A little flame soon swallowed in the
A harp that hath no voice, a bow un-
Pride of the grass and power of the reed,
Life is as swift in breaking. Peace be
on thee ;
Mine are the wings of peace. Men call
But so God hath not named me.
Angel of Light Life is past,
Thy ground is taken, thy tent is pitched
Drink of these wells and be forsworn of
Forsaken of weeping. Men have called
Yet am I less and greater.
Angel of Dreams Peace be on thee,
Peace and good rest. Mine are the
wings of silence
Folded in silver sleep before my face ;
This in my hand is golden fruit of Eden,
Whose scent is sleep ; its flame-white
Along the glades where Adam walked
Death have men called me, yet I am
Take thy last look on life.
Moses O, Land of Promise.
From the great plains of Moab to the
Thy blossoming orchards, streams, and
Like golden beads threaded on silver
Thy towering walls and pinnacles of
A fruitful field it is, ripe for the harvest,
The harvest of the sword.
I shall not reap it,
The winepress of His wrath I shall not
Plighted am I to silence ; I go down,
Dead, to the dead, and am no more
Upon the lips of men.
Those sceptred kings,
The solemn dead of old Mizraim, who
Forever in the sun beside their tombs,
With blank eyes smiling on eternity,
Crowned with the reed and lotus, do
More than their grass and lilies? Those
Princes and scribes, lords of the desert,
Learned above the wit of common
Captains and merchants, rulers over
Feathers and spices, emeralds, ivories,
Brought to the feet of Pharaoh : what
of them ?
What of the King, Lord of the North
Son of the Sun, like to the Sun forever?
A sun? A darkened light, a star o'er-
When his fierce horsemen sank beneath
Whose crest was blood and terror,
when there died
On one hushed night, all the firstborn
O night divine, I set thine excellence
Above the twice-crowned noon. Here
is no star,
No slenderest crescent poised above the
No lingering love of day. But the soft
Folds inward as a flower, enfolding me,
My length of little days, wisdom and
Light as a drop of rain.
Angel of Dreams Tender is night,
But tenderer far the limits of this death,
This dream-encompassed city. Here
Shall wake thee, from thy sleep no
Though here all storms are born.
Tempest and cloud,
Thunder and hail, the mightiest airs of
The hosts of night, the hot triumphant
Seasons, and times, and days, unknown
O'er thy surrendered head.
Moses O loneliest rest !
On my lost grave only the winds shall
The white rain do me service, the sad
Age after age with endless circling eyes
View this last desolation. In thy
Into thy hands, O death. Break the
That binds the rifted pattern of the
O King of kings, forsake not now Thy
Angel of Darkness L,o, the black crags leap
to the vaulted cloud,
Towering without a sound. The dark
In domes and depths of mightiest design
And seals him from the world. Pil-
lared like Thebes,
Straight as the tall palm-orchard lift the
Of this vast grave. L,ife has no mean-
Light has no name nor place. O human
Fain for the little shows of grief, for
And kindlier sepulchre, no king shall
So royally housed as thou.
Moses Draw near, draw near.
The string is all but parted. Shape thy
Into a roof of silver silences,
A dome of deep repose. O murmuring
O tide of death lifting the weed of life,
O passive arbiter, indifferent power
In whose still hand the kingdoms of the
lyie like a beggar's coin, beneath whose
Nations are drifted dust, accept thou
The bubble of life is broken.
Angel of Light L,ife begins.
Cover his face, kind Darkness, with
Smooth as the wild swan's breast. L,et
no wind wake
An echo in this holy solitude.
L,et the enduring seasons with soft tread
Circle these sacred hills ; no falling star
Shiver the fine perfection of repose.
God hath his life. Guard Thou his
Angel of Darkness I am the firstborn angel.
Ere this world
Was shapen, I endured within the void
Waiting the word of God. Beyond this
I shall endure, when the young stars
Outworn in dust along the roads of
Blown by the breath of chaos. When
This present firmament, vision and
Princes of heaven, dominions, powers,
I shall remain about the eternal throne
Veiling the thoughts of God. lyeave
him with me,
Ye younger spirits ; such silence is too
For your bright souls to bear. Leave
me my dead.
( The angels of Light and Dreams take flight.
The angel of Darkness covers Moses with
his wings. )
The dead are mine. Swift they come
down to me.
The little life they suffer, their frail
Is past. Here is no memory, here no
No reason, no despair nor happiness.
Only the dust and I. It is His will.
Voices of Israel Who now shall stand be-
tween us and our God ?
A SAXON EPITAPH
7 ~he earth builds on the earth
Castles and towers ;
The earth saith of the earth :
All shall be oiirs.
Yea, though they plant and reap
The rye and the corn,
Lo, they were bond to Sleep
Ere they were born.
Yea, though the blind earth sows
For the fruit and the sheaf,
They shall harvest the leaf of the
And the dust of the leaf.
* Pride of the sword and power
Are theirs at their need
Who shall rule but the root of the
The fall of the seed.
They who follow the flesh
In splendour and tears,
They shall rest and clothe them
In the fulness of years.
From the dream of the dust they
As the dawn set free.
They shall pass as the flower of the
Or the foam of the sea.
The earth builds on Hie earth
Cities and towers.
The earth saith of the earth :
All shall be ours.
The Consolidated Press, Montreal
Pickthall, Marjorie Lovry
The drift of pinions
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